In early February, the City administration launched an electric bus pilot project to test the electric-powered battery vehicles in our public transit system. During the first week of the pilot, Oahu Transit Services tested the bus on 13 out of 23 established TheBus routes, including several that traversed heavily-traveled urban Honolulu routes traversing Kalihi, Kalihi Valley, Nuuanu-Liliha, Downtown, Makiki-Punchbowl and the University-Waikiki neighborhoods. This week, the pilot routes include Waianae, Mililani, and Waimanalo.
If implemented, each electric bus added to Honolulu’s transit system results in approximately $18,000 in fuel savings per year; if the City converted its entire fleet from diesel to electric in accordance with its pledge, it would save approximately $400,000 in operation and maintenance costs for each bus over its lifetime. Added benefits include a smoother, quieter ride throughout Honolulu neighborhoods, and a big reduction in carbon emissions.
With each mayor pledging a 100% renewable ground transportation system in every county by 2045, the City’s investment in sustainable transportation represents a big part of the goal of achieving a sustainable and energy- efficient Honolulu.
As Chair of the Public Works, Infrastructure, and Sustainability Committee for the City Council, I believe that it is high time that City agencies adopt practical strategies to improve Honolulu’s energy self-sufficiency and sustainable transportation solutions.